A little bird flitted onto the bird bath at Redquarters this morning, soon joined by a dozen more of his? her? friends.
Bohemian and cedar waxwings are famous for their habit of devouring fermented fruit. They move in flocks, and eat in flocks, and get intoxicated in flocks.
Waxwings are not the only birds, or other animals, that get intoxicated from eating fermenting berries or fruit, just some of the best known. One drunk robin is amusing. Thirty drunk waxwings is a mess. One drunk elephant is . . . a problem best left alone with a one-mile perimeter established to keep people away.
Alas, drunk birds fly into windows and die. I’ve found one or two at Redquarters, just after hearing a very loud thump from the front of the house. The screens on the back windows tend to cushion the impact enough that the birds stagger away. Not so the front windows. I also hear lots of thumps when the hawks make strikes in the yard, too, so distraction and panic may be worse than intoxication.
Today’s waxwings are passing through on their way north, headed for more fruitful climes. Given the weather forecast, they may hang around a few more days. We’re expecting a hard freeze this weekend, and they may decide that south is better for the moment.